Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Watch, and pick a side.

The contentious debate over Planned Parenthood funding has spawned some interesting videos recently.

First, Mary sent me this gem, a rather disturbing display of teens and young adults giddily declaring that they have sex, in an attempt to support Planned Parenthood. I can't imagine any but the most left-wing parents being proud of their kid in such a video. It's cringe-inducing, but try to get through it:

Next, there was Sew's blog post entitled, "This is What I Imagine Hell Would Sound Like", which included the following video of a recent Planned Parenthood "Walk for Choice" rally. The anger and coldness of the participants is hard to take. Ultimately, my heart breaks for these people who have seemingly lost touch with their own humanity. It's ugly stuff, but I thank God that it's available for all to see:

As always on this blog, I ask our pro-"choice" friends to comment on the videos and defend (or critique) what you see. I am truly interested to know if you think these are effective tactics to win people to your cause, and if you are proud of these efforts. I can't wrap my mind around the things I see in these videos, and yet I know that the pro-"choice" camp is supportive of this. Help me understand.

I would be remiss if I didn't represent the other side here. Everyone is free to choose the side of life, where there is love and hope, mercy and peace. 

As you can see, the lines are drawn, and the philosophies and practices diametrically opposed. Ultimately, the two sides are irreconcilable. 

You really must pick a side. 


  1. Amazing videos, Leila. After having been on the "pro-choice" side, I remember that it was all about ME and MY life and never EVER about the life inside me. That's how they get to these kids. Young people are selfish and Planned Parenthood capitalizes on that attitude. All I could think of when watching the pro-choice videos was: sit those women down in a room and show them that abortion video you posted awhile ago. How many could really get through it without some feeling of murder.

  2. I was thinking about this the other day. It really comes down to our thinking about the potential of the human person. I think abortion is essentially a hatred of the human. The human person eats up too many resources, is capable of committing too many atrocities (thinking here is the holocaust, the killing field, child sex trafficking, refugee camps), the human person is inconvenient and the body is prone to too much decay and suffering. The human person is a mass of cells which is easier to rid of early in its gestation, has no inherent dignity and no purpose beyond life on earth. And with this as the back drop, its easy and ok to destroy human life because it (human life) is seen as so valueless anyways.

  3. Wow, that first video is... wow. As if PP is the source and summit of sexual freedom? I also had to refrain from laughing out loud when it said, "Our military does." Okay, the military in many ways is an entirely different realm where you can literally get a rank and pay dock (or even kicked out) if you do something like commit adultery against your spouse or sleep with an inferior rank etc. Yes, I am sure soldiers have sex but the military reserves the right to be in your personal business in a way civilians rarely experience. It's absurd to imply the military and PP would approach sex the same way. Sorry, that's a tangent... but so many things about that video are just difficult to watch (and by the way PP, we are plenty aware that young people have sex).

  4. That first video is appalling! Did anyone else notice how many of the teens were LAUGHING when saying their line? They are obviously not mature enough to even handle what they are talking about!

  5. DD, Little JoAnn and Sarah, those are excellent points! I will follow-up on some of that in future posts, God willing. Thanks!

    (And yeah, we are aware that young people have sex... this is not news, PP!)

    Kaitlin, yes! It's sad. Sex for these kids is like a fun toy, not something to revere.

  6. Ugh. Makes me upset...but glad I support Virtue Media!! :)

  7. And DD, the selfishness point is right on. Love is never selfish.

    The pro-"choice" crowd screams about how "this is MY body!" Well, Jesus used those same words, but in the opposite way: "This is my body, given up for you."

    He offered His body for the other, giving up one's very life in love of his friends. Pro-"choicers" are saying the very opposite: "This is MY body and I will not sacrifice it for you (my child). I will kill you rather than have to offer my body for your life."

    Self-donation (love) vs. selfish. Pick a side, pick a worldview.

  8. I was literally laying awake last night, cuddling my sweet, innocent baby, and anxiously wondering how I am going to keep her safe from all of this garbage in the world. It feels so overwhelming.

  9. Sarah, I know, it's scary! But here's what you must remember: Jesus has conquered all, already. And, if you take care and keep her safe for the first few years, and teach her well, then she will be equipped to go out in the world and be a warrior for life! I've seen it happen. It's awesome! So, just have hope and joy, because you are raising up a little saint to change the world! :)

  10. The second video disturbed me immensely, the first one not so much. Honestly, I shivered as I watched the second video and heard the ridiculousness and anger spewing forth. One guy wants PP on every corner like Starbucks and one lady proudly (and joyfully) said I'd have an abortion tomorrow if I got pregnant today. Where are all the special circumstances that abortion supporters talk about? The rape and/or incest victims? The mother whose life is at risk by carrying a baby? These people just want an abortion for the sake of having one, like getting a tattoo. The anger haunted me.

    Like I said, the first video didn't surprise or bother me. I'm 26 yrs old and like everyone in that video I know someone who has sex or plans on having sex. I take comfort in my faith but not everyone has that grace. I can honestly say that I wouldn't care so much about PP if the abortion issue was off the table. I do feel that parents should be the ones teaching their children about sex, providing them information, and help in circumstances, but sadly that's not the reality of our world. If you take abortion off the table, I don't have a problem with teenagers & young adults going to PP for counseling, STD testing, etc.

  11. LHorton, I think that the first video made me cringe because I am a mother. I feel very maternal towards those kids and it makes me cringe that they are so happy to advertise their sexual activity. I don't think kids even 20 years ago would be so willing and non-chalant about doing that. It is hard to watch, as a parent. It's like there is no decorum or shame left. We had told kids it's so awesome to have sex, and it's as normal and casual as brushing your teeth.

    Also, why not say "not everyone has that grace" about the second video, too (the one that disturbed you)? Just because the kids in the first video seem happy, and the people in the second video seem angry, does that make either one of them less morally problematic?

    Don't let your feelings dictate things here. Both videos are the same thing. Both videos are feeding the Culture of Death. Both are two sides of the exact same coin. Planned Parenthood is not a benevolent organization which just needs to purge its abortion services and it would be A-okay. Remember, there are plenty of clinics, including crisis pregnancy clinics, that provide the services you mentioned, but in keeping with the dignity of the human person.

    And a final question: What sort of "counseling" do you think PP would give teens (even if abortion were not a service there)? I'm interested.

  12. Hi Leila,

    I really enjoy following your blog, and have commented a time or two. I admire your voice, and share your faith. I'm a single, practicing Catholic in my late twenties. I vote pro-choice, and would never give my money to PP...

    However, I recently visited a PP after a night of mistakes. I was taken advantage of, but it wasn't rape. I needed anonymity. I'm a good Catholic! I couldn't possibly go to a friend or family member out of fear of judgement. I'm sorry if this is far too personal, but it's a scenario that I feel isn't unusual among many young women. I took Plan B.

    I hate everything about PP. But in a moment of panic, I felt like it was the only place I could go where I wouldn't be judged. I wanted a shoulder to cry on... I wanted to know this was fixable... I wanted some kindness... I didn't even want Plan B, really, I just wanted some solace.

    I'm not claiming that your call to choose a side is wrong; I just know I would have gone to my Catholic friends for help if I had felt like I'd have some sympathy, rather than cold judgement. "i'm not judging you, Trinny, I'm judging your actions." I'm not blaming them for my sin; I take full responsibility. But, as I've pointed the finger at PP in my past for being ultimately evil; I found myself knocking at their door for comfort.

    Pretty sure we, myself included, need to find a more loving way to overcome the culture of death, than through judging actions if we are to overcome PP.

    "Pick a side."

    I just don't see Jesus saying that to Mary Magdelene.


  13. Trinny, my heart goes out to you, but I have to challenge your thinking on this. Your justification for taking Plan B is the same as the women (with many sad and heart-wrenching stories) who get abortions. Your reasons are the same, right? You didn't want to be pregnant and you were scared. But isn't that what the crisis pregnancy centers are for? Isn't that what (as you said), your family and friends are for?

    PP offers a quick and easy "solution" but the solution is only physical. It doesn't address the soul, the dignity of the human person, who we were made to be.

    Trinny, I believe that Jesus did tell Mary Magdelene to pick a side. She picked His side. She is a saint. Jesus Himself says, "He who is not with me is against me" (Matthew 12:30). He said he came to divide, and that family members would turn against each other, some for Him, some against. He talked of truth and lies, of vomiting the lukewarm out of His mouth. Oh, yes, he says to all of us: Pick a side.

    These are not my words, they are Christ's. And they offer life, not death.

  14. Trinny, another thing that bothers me about what you say is that you would only get judgement from your Catholic friends. Do you mean you would only get the truth from them? That they would not condone your sin?

    Would you want them to do otherwise, though?

    I remember when I was in high school and I was doing very wrong things. I had one friend who was a devout Catholic (by all appearances). I knew what I was doing was wrong, and I went to her and discussed things. She was the one who would have, should have told me to stop the evil I knew I was doing. But instead, she let me down. She told me to go ahead with whatever I was doing, if it made me "happy". She wanted me to be "happy."

    Looking back, I feel utterly betrayed by her. Why didn't she tell me the truth? If she had, I may well have listened. But not one friend told me anything but "go ahead"... because to tell someone the truth is uncomfortable. I am sad that you wouldn't want your Catholic friends to have the integrity and grace to tell you even the hard truths.

    PP was "there for me" when I was a teen and "needing" birth control secretly. I found willing accomplices there, but no love. Love does not lie and love does not kill. PP does both.

    Maybe this will help you... It's a quote that speaks to the culture and the very things you are saying:

    "The Church is intolerant in principle because she believes; she is tolerant in practice because she loves. The enemies of the Church are tolerant in principle because they do not believe; they are intolerant in practice because they do not love." -- Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP

  15. I have to second Leila's correction that Jesus told Mary Magdalene to "pick a side." He said, "Go and sin no more." He didn't say, "Well, if you really must still be a prostitute, then go ahead and do what you need to do, then come back to me later and we'll figure it out then."

    This is a great video that pits both sides against each other: http://momandthensome.blogspot.com/2011/03/score-one-for-chicago-pro-lifers.html

    I swear, the liberals make it so easy for me to pick a side.

  16. Trinny, if you could, would you please answer these questions for me:

    1) What were you afraid of?

    2) What did PP offer you to rid you of those fears?

  17. Not to take the comment thread off on a tangent but I thought biblical scholars no longer believe that Mary Magdalene is the woman in the 'cast the first stone' episode.

  18. Trinny, Leila and Lauren have made some excellent points and I hope you respond to them.

    You say you are a "good Catholic." Are you aware that the bishops have taught that it is not morally licit to take "Plan B"?

    I am not trying to be judgmental of you or your situation. Since you seem sincere in your beliefs, I wanted to make you aware in case you didn't know. Many young Catholics are not aware that "emergency contraception" such as Plan B is wrong unless two conditions are present: (a) a rape has occurred AND (b) a woman is confident that she is in a place in her cycle where ovulation has not yet taken place (this condition is because the bishops have stated that it is not morally wrong to attempt to postpone ovulation in the immediate aftermath of forced intercourse; however, if ovulation has already occurred or a woman is unsure where she is in her cycle, emergency contraception couold potentially kill a new human being).

    Thank you for sharing your story. Knowledge is power and it's good to hear how we, as Catholics, can best help women who find themselves in your situation.

    If you don't mind elaborating, what led you to believe that your Catholic friends would not have been sympathetic? Do you think that sympathy equates to supporting your decision to take Plan B?

  19. Joy, yes, you are right. I think Mary Magdalene did have her own seriou sins though, so even if she's not the "cast the first stone" woman, she sort of stands for sinners everywhere.

  20. I am compelled by what Fr. Reginald said. I don't claim that you're wrong to ask people to pick a side, but I think tact is important, and I think people who are already vulnerable to PP will respond negatively to "pick a side." I'm just suggesting that kindness goes a long way.

    What was I afraid of? A date gone wrong with a "Catholic" guy I trusted...a pregnancy that would brand me with a scarlet letter...losing my good girl reputation of being a good, strong, moral person to one night...

    What did PP offer me? Immediate help. Unfortunately, it wasn't help...I know that. A lot of other women know this too. PP pretends to care. It's a ruse. I just think that "pick a side" doesn't sound caring and turns people away.


  21. Also, I wanted to share a personal story.

    I was on the Pill the the first two years of my marriage (we were Lutheran then). I had a scare one month where I'd inadvertantly missed a pill, and when my period didn't show up as planned, I was scared to death I was pregnant, because I was in college and we were poor.

    I called my university's nurse line and asked what I should do. Thank God, the woman I spoke to said that I should wait a few days and then go in for a pregnancy test if my period hadn't showed up. She didn't suggest going out for Plan B or anything.

    My period arrived the next day and, thank God, the experience cause me to seriously think and re-examine my beliefs about the beginning of life and what I really believed about abortion. I was horrified that I'd even considered emergency contraception once I found out it was potentially abortifacent (sadly, I hadn't realized). That led me to investigating what my Lutheran Church (ELCA) taught about abortion, which indirectly led to my conversion to Catholicism.

    Trinny, I hope you can use this experience to re-examine what it means to truly be pro-life and live it out as a lifestyle and personal philosophy, and not just a political position.

  22. Trinny, I understand what you are saying, but what's the alternative to speaking the truth clearly? Jesus did draw a line, and we sometimes must, too.

    If I were speaking to a woman in crisis, I would adapt my words and tone to her situation. But here, I am trying to show people that PP and Christ's truth are irreconcilable. One really must choose.

    The problem is, we live in a culture which says that "compassion" must dictate "truth"... but that's not right and I think many people (like me) prefer to hear the truth straight up.

    What is the alternative? What would have changed your mind about going to PP and taking that pill? I'm seriously asking.

  23. PP pretends to care. It's a ruse.

    Trinny, since you know this, now you must tell others. We can't sugar coat the truth, even though it's important to say it in love.

    Here is what I wrote about that earlier:


    What do you think?

  24. LHorton - as a young 30yrold who knows plenty of people my age having sex, can I share why this disturbed me?

    Recently released research from the CDC reveals teens - even late teens - are actually putting off having sex more today than they were a few years ago. This is important info for teens to know because studies show that teens often perceive their peers as more sexually active than they really are, and this myth actually plays a role in increasing their own decision to be sexually active ("independent thinking" doesn't come easily, especially at this age).

    Where do these teens get the myth that "everyone is doing it?" Where do the sex educators get the misinformation that "they're going to do it anyway?" Mostly from the media. This PP video is 1) so unnecessary as there's plenty of media out there claiming "everyone is doing it" and 2) seems quite calculated to spread this myth in light of the recent CDC stats.

  25. Sarah, that is a great point! I never thought about that in relation to this video. So true!

  26. Yes, Plan B is a mortal sin. Yes, most of the options that PP presents are. Keep that truth "straight up."

    But I find a strong aversion to the "us" Vs. "them" stance. Of course, Jesus says, "Go and sin no more," but I don't think that equates to, "pick a side."

    I share my story because I feel that I succumbed to the ruse of PP. I am disappointed in myself. I know it was wrong. I know that a lot of women on the second video share that feeling, but as long as we project an "us" Vs. "them" agenda, we lose the fight. PP wants us to fall to their level of for or against.

    You ask, what's the alternative? It's everything. It just saddens me that Catholic thought seems to overlook alternatives. Pick a side? Why not cross the line to the other side and present alternatives.

    When I went into PP, there were 12 people praying outside the clinic. Some had rosaries. The presence of good and evil wad very real to me as I walked between the clinic and the people praying. If someone had asked me to join them in prayer before I walked in, I would have chosen differently.

  27. LHorton, just remember that Planned Parenthood is primarily a business. They provide "services" but they make money from abortions. Abby Johnson [former PP clinic director] is very candid about this in her book Unplanned. Abby, as a director, wanted to increase the amount of contraception handed out to decrease abortions, but her superiors in the PP chain of command made it very clear that by having too few abortions at her clinic she was not meeting her financial obligations as clinic director. It was about the bottom line for them, not about the women.

    PP is not on the women's side. They are a business like any other, except their business model thrives from killing people.

  28. Trinny -

    "but as long as we project an "us" Vs. "them" agenda, we lose the fight." WHY?? Why would the Truth lose the fight? Can you please explain? "Us" vs. "them," more accurately is "good" vs. "evil." How does "good" lose the fight?? It wins EVERY time!

    "Pick a side? Why not cross the line to the other side and present alternatives." That's what pregnancy centers devote their lives to. Crossing the line and presenting alternatives. That's what prayer vigilers do. That's what 40 Days for Life is all about. We can't really walk INTO a PP and start talking, so "crossing the line" can't be literal. But that's what the prolife movement as a whole IS.

    "If someone had asked me to join them in prayer before I walked in, I would have chosen differently." You said it before...you take responsibility for what you did. So please, please don't blame the prayer vigilers for your action. They weren't harassing you were they? They were praying peacefully? That's a Christian witness right there. They would have welcomed you, and I believe that you know that.

  29. Trinny, forgive my frustration. But I admit, I am frustrated. The Church recognizes a million alternatives to combat the Culture of Death. Alternatives are everywhere, and pro-lifers are doing great work on every front. Loving, caring, amazing work.

    But when we are talking about picking a side, we are talking about the Culture of Death (sin, mostly sexual sin) and the Culture of Life. We must pick a side. It's not an "us vs. them" in the sense that we want to defeat the people on that side. On the contrary, we want them to join us. For their own sake and happiness. For the good of all of us! Like I said, my heart breaks for them. They are in such darkness.

    Us vs. them, in the Christian sense, is a spiritual battle. But since most Americans don't even realize there is a spiritual battle, they must be told. My tiny little part here is to tell people that they have to make a decision. They really do. It's a matter of life and death.

    God said, "I have set before you this day, life and death. Choose life, so that you and your descendants may live."

    It's not a Catholic thing, this idea of choosing a side (life or death), it's a God thing. He said it, Jesus said it, we must not be afraid to say it, in love.

    Ultimately, you exercised your free will when you walked in that clinic and when you walked past the people praying for you. I am sorry for that and it breaks my heart. But thank God there is the sacrament of confession, the immense mercy of God, and a chance to start anew. And a chance to stand and fight the good fight the remainder of your days.

    Maybe this is God's sign to you to join those praying at the fence, and ask those other women going in to pray with you... Maybe you can help them make a better choice.

    I am praying for you, my sister!

  30. The first two videos literally made my stomach turn.
    We've got to pray more now than ever before.

  31. Leila, the first video didn't bother me because, honestly, I've been there. Is that correct and objective? Not at all. When I commented earlier, it was purely on raw emotion coming from watching two profoundly different forms of propaganda endorsing PP. The second one is harder for me to grasp because the callousness of exterminating people is just unfathomable to me. I agree 100% with Church teachings and that guides me in my life, but in today's world sometimes you have to pick and choose your battles to fight. My war is against abortion. Homosexuality? Not so much. Alcohol? Drugs? Premarital sex? Not so much. There are some things I am content to pray about and some things I wish I could wield a bayonet against and charge into the field.

    Is all of this pure logic that is objectively thought out? Not so much. It's raw emotion after hearing someone equate the access for terminating an innocent defenseless human beings life to a desire for a mocha latte on any given morning.

    Regarding PP counseling, I have not the slightest clue what all of their counseling entails, as I've never set foot near one, aside from praying outside. My point was that if you remove abortion from the equation, in essence PP would have to be a crisis center or health clinic. No abortions, no blood money. No abortions, no more videos like #1 with young adults promoting their sexual experience.

    True Story: When I was in high school I never had sex. Was it because I understood the morality involved with sex and the dignity of my person? Nope, I wasn't Catholic yet. It was because I was utterly afraid of getting pregnant. I saw countless friends get pregnant and it changed what they had planned for their life. I knew I was going to play ball and go to college. Abortion was not an option in my mind and therefore pregnancy scared me into celibacy. In the 2nd video a girl jokingly states that a baby would get in the way of the job that she needs to pay those loans, so thank goodness for abortion. That bothers me more than a college kid saying that he has sex, because I know that if the "back up plan " isn't on the table, then that guy and girl will have more of a reason to think about why or why not to have sex even if they're not religious.

  32. LHorton (who is a personal friend of mine, everyone), you have made me want to do a whole post in response to this! I have to go get the kids but I really want to respond to this. I am seeing something here that needs addressing. Stay tuned... (maybe in the comments, and maybe in its own post in a few days...)

  33. Nicole C- I'm not blaming the praying people. Leila asked me what would have me choose differently, and that statement was an answer to her question.

    I'm not attacking Catholic things or God things...and of course, there's confession to bring us back into the Church.

    I just think, for the first time, I simultaneously fully understand both sides. I know the pro-life side to be the truth, yet fully sympathize with those arguing for choice because they want something/someone to cling to...and cling to it they will, all the more, when told, pick a side. It's a loaded phrase, and it raises defensiveness. I guess I just want to hear for those on the choice side, a less provocative, and more loving directive.


  34. Trinny, sin is very seductive, and the devil comes as an angel of light. That's why it's ever more important to make the distinctions (and good vs. evil) very, very clear.

    It is entirely possible to speak the absolute truth about the two sides of good and evil (as Jesus did, as our Church does) and still extend a hand in love, mercy and authentic compassion.

    If you can explain the more loving directive for a blog like this (which is dedicated to speaking truth, clearly and logically), then I am ready to hear what it is. But as it stands, I don't get it. I don't do counseling here, per se (although I love to help people through things, one on one and behind the scenes). My purpose is to lay things out as bare-bones and clearly as possible, so that people can see the truth more clearly.

    It's not done very many places these days (you won't see it in the schools or the broader culture), so I am doing it here. Don't we need all types of approaches, to reach all types of minds and personalities?

    I think there is a place for saying "pick a side". Because even by not picking a side, one is picking a side.

  35. Hmmm... pick a side... Well, I don't really like abortion, but I wouldn't be here if my mother didn't have one. So I am stuck in the middle.

    You see, back in the day, my mom had a very unfortunate experience while away at college. There was no way in the world her devout Catholic family would have condoned a pregnancy - even under circumstances she could not control, she would have still been blamed for "asking for it" somehow. So, she had an abortion.

    Very shortly after that, she met my father, they fell in love, got married & pregnant with me. So, in short, I am the odd person who can say that because of abortion I am alive.

    Weird, huh?


  36. -L.,

    No, you're just proof that God can bring good out of a bad situation.

    My son and youngest daughter wouldn't be here if I hadn't miscarried their siblings, so in that respect you could say they're alive due to miscarriage. That does not mean that miscarriage is a good thing.

  37. L, I have the same situation as JoAnna. My four-year-old is only here because I miscarried the previous baby three months before he was conceived. I am not "pro-miscarriage" because of it.

    God brings all sorts of good out of evil (physical evil like miscarriage and moral evil like abortion). That doesn't mean we take the side of the evil.

    We could think of all sorts of situations like that. For example, let's say a man murdered his first wife, and then met a woman through prison penpals. He gets out early for good behavior (let's say it's California), and marries the lady he met in prison. They have two children. We could say, "Hey, those two kids would never be here he hadn't murdered his first wife, so I can't really decide if I should be for or against murder."

    I'm sorry, but that does not make any moral sense.

    Anyone can (I pray?) see that that response is disordered.

    I am glad you are here, and that God brought good out of something bad, but I am not glad that your sibling was aborted.

  38. Trinny I'm very sorry for what happened to you and that you were able to learn from it. But if I may pry, I'm very curious as to y u didn't use a condom. Please use one in the future. Pregnancy isn't the worst thing that can happen stds are!

    But anyway I think i am the first pro choicer to speak. I saw the second video. Pro choice people are not like Catholics, they do not believe the same things for the sane reasons. Some people think abortions should be rare. Otheresbthink they are perfectly fine and moral it really depends. I think the people were asking intentionally controversially and frankly were trying to piss off pro life people

    Many of you express disgust at the woman who said she would have an abortion tomorrow. I think she's just being honest with herself. She's no worst to me than a woman who claims to hate abortion but secretly had one when she finds herself in a pickle

  39. College student,

    Plain and simple, that woman's joyful decision to have an abortion disgusts me because, she stated it as if she were going to DQ and ordering a Blizzard. The pro-choice side always tries to use heart-wrenching circumstances like the raped women or the incestuous abuse of a minor, but this woman and this video affirmed how those arguments are the least likely scenarios. There was not painful deliberation or overwhelming confusion from those people. It was jovial disregard for life. That's where my disgust kicked in.

  40. College student, you mentioned that those who are pro-"choice" have different reasons for being so. If I could ask: What are your reasons for being pro-"choice" on abortion?


  41. Leila, You're first comments immediately reminded me of this woman.


    Dana sang this song at my church a few months ago and it had me in tears. I'm not sure why, but ever since I've become a mom abortion seems more and more a tragedy, and I'm always on the verge of weeping about it. I don't know why my emotions get the better of me, maybe because I used to be pro-choice and underwent a profound conversion. Having had a beautiful child in my body has made it all the more personal for me.

  42. Barbara, that is a powerful song! I got chills at the end, oh my.

    If only people understood that these children --and all of us -- are children of God, and He loves ever yone of us. Jesus sacrified His own body so that we might live. If only we humans would love enough to do the same.

  43. I thought that the first video was hilarious, I felt they were brave (don't jump on me about that, I am not saying it is right, just that saying it is uncommon, but the act is common). And I could totally see somebody I know saying that. The second video, I thought was, well, very liberal. I personally would not go that far, but it is pro-CHOICE or authough it might be her choice, it is not mine. I have the CHOICE to go the opposite way. I think the Starbucks idea is a good one. I live somewhere, that if I ever was in that situation, and I had no support, I would really have no where to go. There is no PP, and there is nothing else. They need to have more so that everyone could be in a safe place, that is specialized for the needs of someone in that situation (meaning needing testing etc)
    What about the point about how it always seems that pro-life means helping babies in the womb, but not out. We are seriously in a bad place with that. Look at our education system! I would think that helping those who are born and breathing would be first priority.

  44. Chelsea, the education system in America gets sooooooo much money from the taxpayers (over half our state's budget, for example) and yet education gets worse and worse. You need to watch the documentary (done by liberals) called Waiting for Superman, to see why education is so bad. And trust me, it's not conservatives who want to see the status quo in education. We have been pushing for innovation and change for years. The liberal teachers' unions will NOT allow it. You need to research that. But it's not a lack of funds, that's for sure.

    As for pro-lifers who "do not care about the born children" (supposedly), I am about to do a post on that specific question, to debunk that terrible misconception about pro-lifers. It is patently untrue. I cannot wait to blow that out of the water.

    It is so untrue that PP is the only place that provides support to women in crisis. So untrue.

    As for CHOICE... do you think it's everyone's "choice" to beat their wives or children? Or own slaves? What makes those "choices" immoral always, but aborting children (who have no voice, no defense) can be a legitimate choice? Help me out.


  45. PS: Chelsea, I am certain there is help near you that is ethical and respects life. I promise.

  46. I finally had the chance to watch the videos.

    The first was indeed cringe-worthy. I especially found this part bizarre:

    "We vote for those who treat us like adults."

    1. Huh? I thought that PP was all about handing out contraception and condoms to the under-18 crowd, who cannot vote. This makes no sense. If you can vote, you are an adult. If you can't vote, you are not.

    2. If you're recklessly having sex when you're not in a position to have and/or raise a child should a pregnancy occur (because birth control is not 100% foolproof), then you are not acting like an adult. When pro-lifers ask that you be prepared to take responsibility for, and face the consequences of, your actions, we ARE treating you like an adult. You're just not willing to act like one.

    And the second video - ugh. Just ugh.

    Chelsea - You have your location listed in your Blogger profile. Using that, I searched Google Maps for "crisis pregnancy center" and found several within 30 miles of you. Sure, it's not next door, but it's "somewhere to go" if you were in that situation.

    "What about the point about how it always seems that pro-life means helping babies in the womb, but not out. We are seriously in a bad place with that. Look at our education system! I would think that helping those who are born and breathing would be first priority."

    What proof do you have that pro-lifers do not do this?

  47. First of all, I was just looking at the end product of the education system when I said that, not the funding part. We might be be giving money, but it must not be working, and it is every-one's responsibility, no matter what side of the political spectrum one is.
    The reson it is different is because it is a value (for me at least). I think a women has the right to have a baby at the best time, or never if it is never possible.
    And there really is nothing around me. There is not a Starbucks either... :p

  48. Trinny,
    I think you need to hear this right now and it's God's honest truth- there is no sin stronger than what took place on the cross. God still loves you infinitely more than you will ever realize while still alive on this planet and He wants you to go to Him, repent, and sin no more. God wants you to go to Heaven more than you want to go to Heaven.

    You must know that every moment of every day, every choice we make in our lives, however big or small, we are picking a side. This life is all about picking a side.

  49. Chelsea, I just now got JoAnna's comment out of spam jail. You will see that there are places in your area. I, also, looked up your area and found places.

    I don't fully understand why a woman's "value" of having a baby when she wants trumps the right of a baby to stay alive? So, maybe a wife-beater says the same thing: "My right to beat my wife is a value for me." What would you answer him?

    I agree that education is everyone's concern and responsibility. That is why people on the more conservative end of the spectrum have tried for decades to break the monopoly and the malaise of the public school system, which has been in FAIL mode for so long. We are trying with all our might, and are blocked by the teachers' unions and the Democrats (to whom they are beholden) at all turns. But we certainly do have better ways of educating, which is why Catholic schools in the inner city educate the poorest children more successfully (BY FAR) than the public schools in the same neighborhood. But that is a huge subject for another day. I know you like to hear all sides, so please rent "Waiting for Superman". It will tell you much of what you need to know (and like I said, it was produced by a liberal).

  50. One more thing---what would this world look like if we just handed it over to the Liberals and said, "have at it!" My goodness! Pray Pray Pray!

  51. Leila,

    My particular reasons for being pro-choice stem from the basic bodily autonomy argument.

    Most of you on this board are mothers and thus you know infinitely more about pregnancy and childhood than I! But I will say I perceive pregnancy and childbirth to be extremely intimate and that pregnancy fundamentally changes a woman’s body and health. From the mild: depression, nausea, extreme child bearing pain, to the extreme: death, going through with a pregnancy effects your health and I believe that every woman should assume these risks and the consequent wear and tear on her body willingly.

    Am I implying that abortion is somehow healthier than childbirth? haha no. Abortion has many risks too! I'm just saying whether a person has a tonsillectomy, breast implants, an abortion, or a baby the person has to accept the risk and I think that’s very important. If the state forced me to go through a pregnancy that I didn’t want and it negatively affected my health, you best believe someone would get sued sued sued!

    Isn’t it selfish to forfeit a life because you don’t want to go throw labor pains? YES. Shouldn’t a mother want to do these things for her child. YES. But should she be required to fundamentally alter her health for another person. Absolutely not.

    There are nearly 7 billion people on this earth clearly many mothers were willing to sacrifice and even loved their pregnancies that is wonderful. Their CHOICES were wonderful.

    I would not be pro-choice if women laid eggs (that is a serious comment). But they don’t. Without Abortion for those who want is, some women become (or feel they become) incubators for other people they wish to relinquish ties to. I think that is morally wrong and should have no legal standing.

  52. College Student:

    Here are my problems with analysis.

    1. If you want to dance, you have to pay the band. In other words, if you don't want to "fundamentally alter your health for another person," or "become an incubator," then there's a very simple solution. DON'T HAVE SEX. Birth control isn't 100% foolproof.

    If you choose to have sex, which is the natural biological act that causes conception, and pregnancy occurs, then your right to bodily autonomy ends where the baby's body begins.

    Obviously, the above is not the case for situations of rape or incest (which only account for less than 1% of abortions). In that case, the issue becomes one of not executing an innocent party for the crimes of its biological parent.

  53. College student,

    From what you are saying (and I totally get what you mean about laying eggs), you feel that location is the reason a baby has no right to live. So, because the baby resides inside of the mother and affects the mother, the child has no inherent value and is, essentially, medical waste.

    Will you confirm that I have that right? A baby's worth is based on its location. Correct?

    When I am sure that I am not misrepresenting you, then I will continue.

    (And I agree with JoAnn... sex leads to babies, and every young person should be taught that. Unfortunately, the PP way is to say that only "unprotected" sex causes babies. Of course, the stats show this to be a lie.)

  54. Sure, Joanna I understand what you’re saying I just fundamentally disagree. Why? So so many reasons. One is because of the nature of sexual consent. When you start having sex with a man you are allowed to withdrawal that consent at any time. You don’t just consent to sex indefinitely you have to give and regive your sustained consent throughout the act. It is true for sex and for gestation.

    Leila: I believe that fetuses can at most have equal rights to a person. It can never have more rights than a person. People do not have the right to live inside other people without their permission. I feel pretty strongly about that.

    You may ask, What about the mother she has a right to kill the baby? My answer to that is ehh. She has the right to refuse to use her body to sustain it, though. I admittedly prefer she not actively kill it. What does this mean? I look much more highly on methods that would push the embryo/fetus out of the womb (letting it die) than hacking it up (actively killing it).

  55. Im actually not trying to be a brat here...

    But the majority of sex DOESNT in fact lead to babies. I read your NFP post. Women ARENT ovulating most of the time. If a woman isn’t ovulating and if the man doesn’t ejaculate, no baby is created, in fact its impossible. So doesn’t ejaculation (which I sincerely wish girls would stop letting boys do in them its not a given!) and ovulation lead to babies? Isnt that only a window, a subset of all sexually activity? If we want to be accurate shouldn’t we be teaching that

  56. "One is because of the nature of sexual consent. When you start having sex with a man you are allowed to withdrawal that consent at any time. You don’t just consent to sex indefinitely you have to give and regive your sustained consent throughout the act. It is true for sex and for gestation."

    Okay, and if a woman withdraws her consent at any time, and the man doesn't respect her decision, it becomes a rape. Then the issue changes from one of personal responsibility to one of not executing the baby for the crimes of its parent.

  57. People do not have the right to live inside other people without their permission. I feel pretty strongly about that.

    College student, inside the mother is the natural and ordered place for an unborn child. So, you think that the unborn child has no inherent right to live where it is actually designed to live (in the womb), but that a mother has a right to kill an innocent person because of the child's location. Is that right?

    And I know you "feel" strongly about that, but do you have anything other than the feeling to back it up? If we are killing innocent people, then there must be a moral principle behind it. What is that moral principle, and does it correspond to any virtue?

    The Christian moral principle is: One is never permitted to willfully kill an innocent human person.

    You reject that principle, correct?

  58. Hm,
    Leila I really don’t want this to become unpleasant but here it goes.

    I don’t have any moral evidence to sight, is there actually an appendix of moral laws in existence that doesn’t reside in a religious text? Hm. Not sure.

    I believe a woman owns her own womb as well as other parts of her body. Why does a woman own her own body and not her husband or her children or her government? I suppose it technically has something to do with the 14th amendment, but most of us just 'feel' she just sorta does intrinsically.

    Where did I get the assumption that No one has an obligation to use his or her body to keep another person alive? Again maybe that’s stated somewhere but I took the interpretation from common law and general practice.

    Do I believe a woman has the right to kill her baby. I don’t. But she has no obligation to it to sustain its life using her body. She thus has the right to remove the fetus, if it dies in the process that is not her fault. It’s not a baby fault that it was not designed to live outside the womb but it is also not womankind's fault either. Again this is why I think some abortions are better than others (as some "let die" and others 'actively kill.' I am not mocking anyone when I say certain procedures should become more humane.

    Technology will get better. Eventually 2-week embryos might be able to live outside the womb in machines used to incubate them and help them grow. In that world abortion (in my mind ) becomes unnecessary and everyones rights can be respected. Do you think that is a favorably time or do you want the women who wanted the abortions to incubate themselves?

    Tangent: I'm reasonably certain the kids in the first video are college students and are at least legally adults. Thus I don’t really get why a bunch of 20 year saying they are sexually active ( which we knew) is so horrible?

  59. Quaker schools do the same thing. The common denominator, is parents caring about their kids education (or kids really really caring). The unions have gone a bit far, but teachers need salaries to. And it is known that teachers do not make a lot of money. I once read of what I think is a good compromise. I forget who said it (I think it was an leader of education in Maryland, or DC) to have teachers make more, but more easily fired.
    And about the choice thing. It is better for both the mother and a child for the mother to have a choice. Somebody who would have a child without their choice can be resentful, or not be in a stable place in her life financially, or just plain immature.
    A little while ago (I think decades ago) a survey was done. And about parents 70%-75% said if given the choice to go back, they would not have kids again (it was a mail in survey, so that could have affected the results.)
    I do not think that the results would be the same now, now that more people have a choice. Now, even if a baby was a surprise, they have a choice. Who would be better parents, those who want their kids, or those who do not?

  60. Leila, to use your analogy. A wife beater is not, nor will never benefit his wife, or any wife if he is a wife beater. But a women not having one child can help the next.

  61. College Student and Chelsea both - I think we're in a sad state of affairs when this kind of misguided mercy is iterated so nonchalantly.

    CS: "as some 'let die' and others 'actively kill.'" First of all, I don't know of ANY abortion procedure like this, except when a baby is *accidentally* born alive after a FAILED abortion of another kind. This would, for most pro-aborts even, be considered murder. Allowing a baby to be born and then die of neglect?? How sick is that? Are you really advocating for that? Seriously?

    And I can't even get into the whole "the woman doesn't have a right to kill her baby but she does have the right for it not to live in her" nonsense. I fail to see any logic whatsoever in that argument. But I'm sure Leila will be able to address that more eloquently.

    Chelsea: "It is better for both the mother and a child for the mother to have a choice." I assume you're insinuating that the child will have a "crappy" life is the mother didn't kill it. But who are we to decide? No one knows what that child's life will be like. The child deserves the chance...not death.

    Furthermore, what about all the children who are already here who definitely have crappy lives? Who are already beaten by their resentful mothers? Who are already molested by their sick uncles? Wouldn't it make more sense that we kill them first, since they're already IN a crappy life? Better put them out of their misery.

    OF COURSE I'm not advocating we do that. I'm just trying to draw the comparison. Why is it better to kill a baby b/c he/she *might* have a rough life, but it's horrific to think that we'd kill a born child who already has one?? The children (unborn & born) have the same value...the same dignity. To kill either one is a tragedy.

    Let me give you an analogy to this preemptive killing argument. Would you support incarcerating people before they commit crimes because they statistically fit the profile of someone who will eventually?

  62. college student, no worries about "getting unpleasant"... unless you insult me personally, I will know that you are debating in good faith, and sometimes things do get intense and challenging. That's totally okay!

    In fact, your statements have been excellent for the purposes of what I do here on the blog. I like things to be clear, and for the readers/lurkers to see both sides of an issue unveiled, so that they can decide (and "pick a side"). I appreciate your honesty.

    I actually have a post coming today on something else, but if you will just wait a couple of days, I want to do a whole post on the things you said, and then my responses. So, I won't answer you here, but please stay tuned, because I will answer (and question you further).

    Chelsea, I promise to get back to you after I get the kids to school.

    Thanks guys!

  63. college student, i am responding to your "tangent" question. i too was not totally shaken up by the first video, at least not while the students were proclaiming their sexual activity. i am a young adult (not sexually active), but i know many people who are having sex. its unfortunate, and the consequences have severely impacted some of their lives forever. i have 3 problems with the video. 1) the claim that young americans are having sex. they make it sound as if ALL young americans are having sex, which is simply not true. i am not having sex- point proven. also, sarah makes a great point above about the decreasing numbers of sexually active teens and young adults. 2) the ad is showcasing young adults who are desperate to be treated like adults, yet refuse to actually be adults (you noted that they are "legally" adults, but i dont think an age determined by the government is really a legitimate way of determining true adulthood when it comes to matters of reproducing life, parenting, etc. spend a day with an 18 year old boy, youll be convinced). joanna explains this perfectly in her most recent comment. 3) "protect our freedom to choose our own future", which is the final point of the video. i can think of so many things that are wrong with that sentence in the context of the video, but im off to the store and cant elaborate now, hopefully more later.

    the video is more than just "a bunch of 20 year saying they are sexually active (which we knew)", and that is what is wrong with it.

    i do have one question i really hope you answer, college student (or anyone else). could you please define AND explain your personal view of what freedom is?

    -another college student

  64. College Student:

    "I don’t have any moral evidence to sight, is there actually an appendix of moral laws in existence that doesn’t reside in a religious text? Hm. Not sure."

    (Just FYI, it's cite, not sight. Sorry, I'm a spelling/grammar nerd...)

    There are indeed moral laws with no religious basis. See, for example, www.secularhumanism.org.

    Also, there are non-religious pro-lifers as well. See www.secularprolife.org.

    This is why abortion is a human rights issue and should not be framed as a religious issue.

  65. There are kids with an already crappy lives, why do more kids need to have crappy lives? The ones that are already born, need to have better lives.

  66. Chelsea, do you realize that you are arguing for killing humans because they have the potential to suffer?

    I wrote about that here:
    Is Suffering Worse Than Death?

    Be sure to read part 2, as well, as Part 2 gives the Catholic view.

    But do you really want to say that it is better to be dead than to suffer? What of the human spirit, and the ability to overcome and be stronger? What about the joy that comes in a life, even when suffering comes (as it always does)? I just think you are too young to be this cynical, Chelsea!

    Life is GOOD!!!

    And, I submit that the way for kids to lead better, less crappy lives is for the adults to live up to their responsibilities as adults. Exchanging sin for virtue is the answer, not more death of the innocent so that we can go on sinning.

  67. Ultimately, Chelsea, you did not address or answer Nicole's specific points. I hope you will.

    Also, you said:

    Leila, to use your analogy. A wife beater is not, nor will never benefit his wife, or any wife if he is a wife beater. But a women not having one child can help the next.

    You have no way of knowing this. A man may beat his first wife (maybe she was annoying, inconvenient, a burden), but choose not to beat his second wife.

    What you are saying is even more illogical, though: Let's kill some kids so that other kids have the potential for a nice life.

    Is that really a good moral principle for society to live by?

    Also, on the education thing: I am glad that we agree that there need to be some major changes to the system (mainly, breaking the monopoly, challenging the liberal unions, cutting massive administrative bloat, etc.). But your original premise was that pro-lifers are somehow to blame for terrible schools. I am glad you can see now that this is not the case. I just want to make sure you are representing facts and philosophies correctly, for the sake of justice and fairness. Thanks!

  68. Yes, Chelsea, please answer my question: "Would you support incarcerating people before they commit crimes because they statistically fit the profile of someone who will eventually?"

  69. You also didn't address whether or not it's OK to kill the kids with already crappy lives.

  70. Elaborating on what "another college student" said, in response to the first college student and Chelsea - You say you have no problem with that first video "because we already knew" that people were having sex...so tell me, then, why did they make that video??? THAT'S where the problem lies. We can tell what they're doing, that's why we don't like it. Do you see those people acting like responsible adults in that video? Or do you see immaturity? I see immaturity. It looks to me like they aren't taking things seriously that mature adults would take seriously.

  71. Sorry if my last sentence didn't make sense :) --- I was trying to say that mature adults would take sex seriously...the kids in the video don't seem to be taking it seriously at all.

  72. Mary, I agree. Sex is treated as a game, as recreation when you're bored, but in fact sex is not a game. It's the mechanism which brings new life into the world.

    Sex is something to be reverent about, not flippant. 50 million dead babies so far in America shows that we are not taking sex seriously at all. So sad...

  73. I will Not answer the question about what my personal view of freedom quite yet as I am typing on my iphone haha

    But college student I agree of course not all young adults are having sex! I went through most of college a virgin and agree that there is a notion that everyone is doing it which is just fallacious.

    I agree whole hardedly that a legal adult and a real adult are not the same thing. I don't think one of them was trying to make the implicit argument that they were mature adults or ready to raise a child but that neither was required for them to be sexually active , something I know you would disagree with.

    Leila mentioned that even the most liberal parents wouldn't want their kids appearing in that video... Exactly. The students who we all recognize as legal adults are doing something regardless of what their parents want something all adults are allowed to do.

    I think you are forgetting how unbelievably selfish our generation is! I would love for someone to talk to college kids about sexual integrity, about the magnitude of conception and the health risks of contraception. But it needs to be about THEM their bodies and their future not their parents. Or the hypothetical baby they havent created. Other college student is abstinent because SHE wants to be right on. if you convince every student to be abstinent I think that's great, but to pretend that parents or society has to give their permission before a 20 year old has sex isn't true and alienates the student.

  74. but to pretend that parents or society has to give their permission before a 20 year old has sex isn't true and alienates the student.

    Just quickly... I hope you don't think that was my implication, because it wasn't. I totally know that 20-year-olds can have sex whenever. No one has to give anyone permission to do stupid or sinful things, ha! I know that for sure. But as a parent, I cringe when I look at those silly kids trying to be all cool, when really they are doing the same things that monkeys do (sex because they have the "urge"). It's just sad to me, and I think one day many of them will look back and cringe as well.

    But definitely they don't need parents' permission!

    I like a lot of what you had to say here, college student.

  75. Thanks for answering that one, Leila. I have to wrap up my lunch here and I don't know how you can keep up!

    College Student, I am so glad you've come here to explore your ideas! I hope you'll remember that several of the people commenting are parents who simply want to save their kids and others from the pain they've seen or experienced. Even if they aren't parents, perhaps they've simply witnessed enough in a few more years of life and they wouldn't wish that on anyone!

    I had very liberal friends in college who were very up-front about their sex lives in public. But in private, talking with me alone (the lone Catholic), they sang a totally different tune. Their impersonal sexual relationships left them feeling empty, lonely, and confused. It happened enough that THAT is why the "I have sex" video breaks MY heart. Of course I don't know any of those kids - but I've known so many like them who were all bravado in public, and incredibly hurt in public.

  76. God have mercy on us all. Our Lady of Guadalupe, please, put an end to these horrors. I don't know how else to express my horror and sorrow.

  77. I think the problem lies with how both sides perceive one another. And I hate to say it, but I see it all too often on this blog. You see pro-choicers under this big "liberal" umbrella of moral and social and political assumptions. Then, many of them see you under this creepy religious fanatic right-wing umbrella and associate you with what nasty people like Fred Phelps.

    So you post heavily-edited documentaries of protesters saying things, some taken out of context,(as someone else stated) to "piss you off." And I am sure on their blogs, they are posting propaganda docs all about how you want to eradicate a woman's right to contraception and would force a woman to carry a fetus that would kill her instead of being able to abort.

    Much like your "Waiting for Superman" doc. I worked in the film/video biz for YEARS before becoming a SAHM & let me tell you, it is all BS. Ever since Michael Moore - every so-called documentary has been an utter baloney PR piece or outright propaganda. Now you have people afraid of meat, vaccinations, corporations and now... the school system too.I think Catholic schools do better because they have parents willing to pay for the education, which means the home is more concerned for the well-being of the child. Inner-city schools have a huge hurdle besides the system - their home lives are terrible. I know a handful of friends who did "teach for Amertica" and two cousins are teachers who had to start out in "rougher" areas first. And trying to get through to kids who had awful examples, frightening home lives and who were surrounded by trouble 24/7 was the REAL issue.

    ANYWAY, sorry I digressed....

    It is all inflammatory on both sides, but the majority of Americans live somewhere in the middle. I know you have your arguments and your anecdotes of why rape and incest victims should carry their attacker's babies or why "it is never medically necessary to abort to save a woman's life" but none of you are qualified OB's, sorry. Nor have you been in a broken-down, beaten situation. You all seem very strong and sure of yourselves - something many abuse victims do not have.

    The fact is, while Catholics view sex as a sacred act between a married, hetero, man and woman which must be open to create children - the rest of us see sex as an inherent biological, physiological and sociological need, best displayed as an act of love, but not necessarily having to be associated with conception.

    And if "Natural Law" reigned supreme, girls are ready to bear children between the ages of 11-13. That's how God designed it, after all. So why do we cringe at the thought of young girls having sex?

    Answer: Because Natural Law doesn't always apply to the morals of our society.

    I am secular, center-left. I do not fit every label you apply to me. Many times I read your blog & don't agree with your view, but the more I read you explain yourself, the more I like you - ALL of you. I even read some of the regular's blogs. What we all have in common is motherhood & the pursuit of. When I understand the way you feel about sex, I am no longer angry at the rhetoric. It makes me want to help a girl in a tough situation (not to abort), it inspires me to value my body, my fertility and have respect for it. Women shouldn't feel "shame" for being the ones who gets "stuck with the kid" should they get knocked up unintentionally. We are the life-bearers - it's a beautiful thing! We need to stick together, that is real feminism.

    Oh well, what I am saying (rambling, sorry!) is that when you see some crazy chick with pink hair say "I would to have an abortion tomorrow!" She is most likely being reactionary. Then you declare "Pick a side!" and BAM - we're all at war. But now, with what? Teens having sex? Contraception? Abortion? ALL of it? I was just warming up to you & now I feel like I have to go back to my "picket line."


  78. L, gotta run out but two quick things before I tackle the rest:

    1) The guy who did Waiting for Superman also did Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth... so no conservative propaganda was intended when he made the documentary. Quite the opposite. I agree with you on the docu-ganda stuff, except for a situation like Waiting for Superman, when both liberal and conservative find it compelling and important. So, I urge you to watch it.

    Lots more to say on education in a bit....

    2) Natural Law must not be confused with the "laws of nature". Two very different things! Natural Law says that sex is for marriage. So, the question of 13-year-olds having sex and babies out of wedlock has nothing to do with Natural Law (which includes moral law).

    more soon....

  79. PS: Who is Fred Phelps? And what is creepy about the principle which says innocent people should never be killed? What is creepy about virtue?

    It's definitely a new world if old-fashioned values (read: virtue) are creepy.

  80. Leila - look up Fred Phelps - he's the baptist minister who protests soldier's funerals & says they are dead because "god hates f*gs"- so YES that IS CREEPY. There is no virtue in what he does, yet you are lumped in with that just as you lump stereotypes into whoever may be "pro-choice."

    Okay, so marry the 13 year old. Is it okay then? They did it long ago & no one seemed to mind.

    I am not saying "lighten your view on abortion." I am saying work a better angle instead of telling us all to pick a side after showing the clips you did.

    Nowhere did I say virtue is creepy. I said you lump me in with people I disagree with because I am pro-choice in certain situations. Suddenly I want abortion-Starbucks on every corner, too. Sorry, not me. I can't merely "pick a side" and go to battle.


  81. L.,

    Regarding this excerpt of your post above...

    "I know you have your arguments and your anecdotes of why rape and incest victims should carry their attacker's babies or why "it is never medically necessary to abort to save a woman's life" but none of you are qualified OB's, sorry. "

    1 - The question is if human beings have the right to life regardless of the circumstances of their conception, not whether women should "carry their attackers babies." Remember that those babies have 50% of the mother's DNA as well, and I can tell you that people like Rebecca Kiessling are very grateful that their mothers recognized their inherent right to life.

    2 - There are qualified OBs who do claim that, however. See Physicians for Life, for example. You act as though pro-lifers have no interest in scientific research and evidence when it's quite the opposite.

  82. Oh, is that the Wesboro Baptist Church nutcase? If people lump Catholics in with them, I can't do much about that. I'm guessing most people don't see Catholics as the same as them, but if so, that's unfortunate.

    In some cultures, 13 year olds married (and still do). That is a cultural thing that I am not well-versed in. I know that the Church has canon law about the minimum age to licitly marry, and it's higher than 13! Essentially, those who get married have to give full consent of their will, and sex is a privilege of marriage. Marriage spans all cultures, and has always been understood to be a good thing. Natural Law is written on our hearts.

    Okay, so... I do understand that you are not like the pro-aborts in the video. You take a more nuanced position on abortion and abortion rights. I understand that. You are in the "middle" with most Americans who don't really get involved in the "fight" so to speak. But I will tell you that even if you are not on either side of the culture war, there is a culture war going on. Those on my side know it keenly and those on the liberal pro-abort side know it as well. You aren't fully engaged in it, but it's in full swing, this culture war. And, to the extent that you don't hold the line on traditional morality, you lean towards moral relativism. So, in a sense, your "middle" place is actually choosing a side. You just don't fully realize it. I don't mean that to be condescending, I am just saying that Planned Parenthood knows it and the Catholic Church knows it. The folks in the middle need to see what is going on. And this may seem weird to you, but it is a spiritual battle above all. I am not at war with you, or the people in the videos (we are all people made in the image and likeness of God). I am at war with evil and the devil who is "prowling the world" silently, happily, pleasantly, deceptively destroying lives and souls. It's a spiritual war.

    I also will say this: You and others (and even me for a while) see the world as "extremes" vs. middle ground. I have a post in the works which will explain that I think it's better to talk of ordered vs. disordered, instead of "extremes. So, while you avoid "extremes", I avoid "disorder." It leads us to two different places.

  83. I have no idea if I am being considered "very liberal" here, but I think of myself as honestly in the middle. In my ethics class, I was the most pro-life person (I feel that abortion should not be done on a whim, and I was the only person who said I would not abort my own child.) And about the killing of those alive. I do not think that kids should be killed. That is why I oppose war.

    To some, technically I might actually be pro-life. But I cannot control others. And this is just an issue that I think has to let slide a bit, so I reach to understand why other people abort.

    I will deferentially get waiting for Superman.

    I am quite sure I repeated something or another. And often times, the topic has moved on. This blog gets so many post, I cannot respond quickly, or thoroughly enough (or read it all). Sometime between spending time on the computer and writing, I have to go to school. :)

  84. In my ethics class, I was the most pro-life person (I feel that abortion should not be done on a whim, and I was the only person who said I would not abort my own child.)

    This is one of the most depressing things I have read in a long time. I really don't know what to say. I thank God for His mercy, because we humans are a mess.

    I appreciate all your comments, Chelsea, I truly do. It's important to see that we really are in a battle for the soul of our nation.

  85. Chelsea, you are a smart young woman. Let me ask you: Why do you think all your classmates said they would abort their own children? What do you think is behind that?

  86. Leila, I’m so glad you posed that question to Chelsea. I think its one we all need to answer. Pro-lifers want to make abortion illegal and that solves an aspect of the problem but I don’t believe it addresses the over arching problem why do so many women WANT abortions?

    I believe that as a nation we have failed to REALLY address this issue. One in three women will have an abortion in their lifetimes. That’s a lot of women. It may seem that increased secularization and planned parenthood is driving that number, and while they may have contributed to it, religious women and women who vote-prolife get abortions too. 27 of women who get abortions are catholic and 20% are married. So this is not entirely an issue of lefties just love to kill their babies….there is something deeper.

    I’m not saying abortion should be legal because people are going to do it anyway that is silly. But women WANT abortion, and its something we need to talk about as a nation.

    Do some women just not want stretch marks sure, but we need to look at what is our society is doing to make women not want their babies. What are we doing to make it harder for single mothers, for student mothers, for young mothers, for uninsured mothers. What is society prepared to do to stop abortions?

  87. Chelsea it's a slippery slope to "let (things) slide a bit" as you're saying. It's important to tell people when you think they're doing something that is very wrong - not just accept that it's "their decision(s)"... If we always did that, in everything, our world would be an even bigger mess than it already is. Think about it.

  88. College Student,

    You ask good questions, and I think it boils down to that we need to reverse the "free love" mentality of the 60's. "Free love" only leads to greater bondage in the from of transmission of STDs, unplanned pregnancies, and higher incidences of rape and sexual abuse -- not to mention rampant alcohol and drug use.

    I do need to correct something you cited, however. "27 of women who get abortions are catholic..." is not accurate. 27% of women who get abortions IDENTIFY AS Catholic. That's a big distinction. I'm willing to bet that if you were able to question those women further, they would be made up of women who were baptized Catholic, were perhaps confirmed, but only attend Mass sporadically (if at all) and don't otherwise follow the teachings of the Church. Those statistics are SO misleading because there are many Catholics in name only.

  89. Firstly, to give some credit, I go to a "Collage Prep" private school, where everyone is very future oriented, and expect to be doctors and layers and other high powered jobs, and a baby would put a pause to those plans.

    When asked why. Most of my classmates said just that. That they have worked to hard to get pushed back with having to raise a child. And I agree with that point. I am hard of hearing, so in many cases, I have had to work twice as hard. I feel that I have enough challenge already, a baby would make getting an education even harder (I am not a mother, but I am sure all would agree).

    I also think that we have not been in that situation. So we really do not know how we would act. We can say anything, but it is our actions that matter the most.

    One thing that really annoyed me in the class was the guys. They all said that they would make their girlfriends get abortions (sorry to depress you any further Leila). I felt like screaming, keep your hands off my decisions.

  90. Mary I just mean that sometimes it is best to pick battles. There is a slipery slope for everything.

  91. More and more young people are having sex, as Planned Parenthood works to eliminate any connection between sex and commitment, sex and responsibility, sex and it's natural consequences. It's now just sex for sex sake. Is it any wonder that STDs, unwanted pregnancies and ABORTION are on the rise. Try as we may, we can't separate them from sex....Nature does as nature does.

    With all that funding and all that public support, what (other than more sex) is Planned Parenthood gaining for society???

  92. College Student, you have touched on a very interesting point with good questions. This is my opinion, but I think part of the problem is in Chelsea's statement:

    "One thing that really annoyed me in the class was the guys. They all said that they would make their girlfriends get abortions"

    That doesn't sound very supportive. Men don't value women anymore and sadly women have stopped valuing themselves. Have you ever heard the phrase "a guy will love for sex and a girl will have sex for love?" It says a lot about why women feel like they can't/ or don't want a baby. If the guy doesn't want it, then you shouldn't want it, if you want to keep him. Or even better, I've often heard the question, "why is the guy still free, but the woman has all the consequences of the prenancy"?

    It's all very slippery.

  93. I understand that sometimes women feel pressure to abort, and that is extremely problematic!

    But I would really love an answer to this question: does a pro-life society where abortion is illegal have more obligation to pregnant women and children? It cost 5,000-10,000 to delver a baby without insurance should these costs be covered?

    Should society do more to encourage women not to have abortion: more maternity leave. Should pregnant students be given more leniency in school or in work? Should we do something to level the playing field and should we all be forced to $$ for it?

  94. College student, first, a society that welcomes and protects all human beings in life and law is a less callous, more caring society anyway. But yes, a society that cares about human life will take care of human life. The process by which that is done is up to each society. I personally prefer the local, community approach (stay tuned for my next post, hopefully out by tonight), but some prefer to push through other avenues.

    Sounds lik you would like the mission and philosophy of Feminists for Life. You should google them. I think you will like what you see.

  95. PS: I have to add two thoughts:

    1) If sex were revered and people understood it the way they used to, there would not be 50 million abortions and so many out-of-wedlock births (which, more than any other factor, leads to poverty)

    2) Even if a (mythical) society hated all children and thought sex was recreation from age 12 and up, with absolutely no moral boundaries, it still does not change the moral truth that we have no right, ever, to kill innocent human beings. Nothing can justify the killing of innocents. Nothing.

  96. College Student: "It cost 5,000-10,000 to delver a baby without insurance should these costs be covered?" Not everyone who has an abortion doesn't have insurance. And YES...if the choice was between my tax dollars paying for abortion and paying for child delivery...I'll take child delivery ANY DAY!!!

    "Should society do more to encourage women not to have abortion" YES. As a society we SHOULD be cultivating life. As Leila said, there are different ways of going about that. But it needs to start before kids have sex. Society's attitude toward life needs to change first and foremost.

  97. Whoa, I wrote way too much to fit into a single comment. Ack. Split into many parts:
    Part 1:
    Nicole C and others have pointed out different facets of the same theme: abortion, while gravely evil, is a symptom. It does not occur in a vacuum. Rather, an abortion is a sin that results from circumstances that make it so. They could be called “social sins;” that is, sins that affect everyone in the society, not just a few, and are not just the conscious choice of one person, but the result of the actions/inactions of many.
    1) Abortion is a symptom of the social sin that separates the trifecta of marriage/sex/babies. If marriage, sex, and babies are not considered a package deal and are considered individually on their merits, something is already wrong. This is often called the contraceptive mentality; a mentality that sees children as a burden instead of a blessing and the natural consequence of the biology of sex; a mentality that cannot see a logical reason to limit marriage between people of complementarity sexes; a mentality that has no problem with divorce; a mentality that says our natural fertility is a disease we should medicate and mutilate.
    2) Abortion is a symptom of the social sin that does not support and care for women in crisis situations. If, because of the contraceptive mentality described above, a women does become pregnant and is scared, society is guilty of enabling her abortion by not offering her better options. As Leila describes in her most recent post, Crisis Pregnancy Centers are wonderful, and thank goodness we have them, but most of them are supported by donations from individuals and churches. The funding Planned Parenthood receives from the federal and state governments is astronomical, especially compared to the shoestring budgets of volunteer-staffed CPCs. This is a social sin.

  98. Part 2:
    Chelsea, Trinny, and College Student all made very valid points when they said in one way or another that most women who seek an abortion are NOT like the angry prochoicers in the video (ie, the one woman who unabashedly proclaimed, “if I get pregnant today I’d have an abortion tomorrow!”). Most women who come to an abortion clinic are TERRIFIED. When I pray outside Planned Parenthood clinics, not one of the women entering the clinic looks proud or defiant or happy. I sit there thinking to myself, “What has happened to this girl to make her feel that she has no way out?” Women seeking abortions are often sad, scared, nervous, and embarrassed. Why? Because abortion is a symptom of a society that has already failed them and continues to fail them. It is only part of the tragedy, not the only piece of it.
    It’s a multistep process, each step wrought with heartache:
    Tragedy 1: Because of the contraceptive mentality (which champions sex as recreational and unrelated to babies), a man and woman have sex outside of marriage, or even within marriage, without the intent to welcome a child if a child were created. I include the men in this tragedy because we often forget them, but it takes two to make a baby, and extra-marital sex is often touted as horrible for women, but it is equally horrible for men. Men don’t worry about pregnancy, of course, but the one flesh union of man and woman is powerful, and affects men too when entered into outside its proper context (marriage).
    Tragedy 2: After having sex, a woman discovers that she is pregnant. As college student pointed out, not all sex leads to babies (women are fertile only about 100 hours per cycle;, see the NFP Post from last week). Now, the pregnancy itself is NOT a tragedy, but the very idea of someone thinking herself “accidentally” pregnant is a tragedy. If I turn the keys in the ignition of my car and shift it into first gear, I shouldn’t be surprised when the car moves. It’s a natural consequence of what the car was made to do. A woman’s body was designed, among other things, to nurture life. When the ingredients for a new life (a sperm, an egg, and a fertile womb) are all present, we shouldn’t be surprised when nature takes its course and a baby results from those three ingredients. The idea of “accidental pregnancy’ is a tragedy. Did you have sex? Yes. Then pregnancy is not an accident. It’s a natural, biological consequence.

  99. Part 3:
    Tragedy 3: Having discovered she is pregnant, the woman panics. This is a tragedy unto itself. The day the little strip on the pregnancy test turns pink/blue/whatever should not be a day of worry and fear, but a day of rejoicing. However, women who become pregnant when they didn’t want to be are worried. They are worried about money. They are worried about what their husband/boyfriend will think. They are worried about finishing school or advancing in their career. They are worried about what their parents will think. And Trinny brought up a very honest, very sad point: they are worried about their reputation and acceptance among their Catholic (or other religious/moral/etc) community. There is a so much fear that it spirals out of control.
    Tragedy 4:A woman feels alone and without support. Because she is afraid for all the very valid reasons described in #3, she may not seek help or ask for other options. Without a community of support around her, it is so difficult to make the heroic choice to carry the pregnancy to term, either for adoption or to raise the baby. Our society isn’t good at dealing with the unexpected; we would rather seek an easy solution or a quick fix. The lack of support for women in crisis pregnancies has two flavors: from the ‘religious’ or ‘righteous’ community who are so indignant that a women would dare become pregnant that they are too incensed to help her. (this kind of attitude might be real- all too often it is real -- or may be perceived by the pregnant woman because of unsympathetic prolifers she’s encountered in the past, which is also tragic). Without support, without hope, without anyone to show her another option, this scared women feels that an abortion clinic is her only way out.

  100. Part 4:
    Tragedy 5: Feeling alone and without support, that the baby will derail her chances to finish school or earn money or achieve professional success, the woman manages to find about $300-$500 (or is given that money by her family or husband/boyfriend to “take care of it.”) She goes to Planned Parenthood and has an abortion. Note that the actual abortion, while the worse tragedy on a list of tragedies, is a symptom of the preceding three in that individual woman’s life, and is the result of a social context that does not hold sex, marriage, or babies as sacred. A life is lost. She goes home.
    Tragedy 6: As the brave women of Silent No More explain, the abortion doesn’t “take care” of the problem. Women suffer countless spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical scars from the act of an abortion. Many suffer alone, because society says “get over it! No big deal!” and the women might feel like a “wimp” if she speaks out. The ladies of Silent No More are heroes.
    Tragedy 7: Because none of us exist in a vacuum, each of our actions affects the rest of the world. By succumbing to vast societal pressures to terminate a pregnancy, a woman has not only hurt herself and her baby, but has hurt society because each human being is irreplaceable and unique, made in God’s image, with gifts and talents and a personality that no other person has ever had or will have again. Every person has value and dignity, even if born into poverty, even if born with special needs, even if, even if, even if. For all we know, the person who might have grown up to be the scientist who cures cancer might be part of the 50+million aborted children. Now, obviously, even “normal” people who aren’t brilliant scientists or amazing leaders are also 100% dignified and 100% worthy of life; I just mean that by throwing away a life before its potential unfolds the entire society suffers.

  101. I have to agree with LHorton on all counts. The second video is much more horrid. The blond woman holding the sign gleefully announcing her abortion is almost to much to understand.

  102. I have learned a lot reading these comments.

    Chelsea: I am very glad you had the courtesy to write all of your sincere thoughts, and I learned a lot. I must say, I have never thought about the "willing/unwilling vessel" as a distinction or as an argument for or against the morality of abortion. I cannot say I agree with you, but you did make me think harder about exactly why I think that is immoral, and if there is merit in the idea that a woman's rights are trampled every moment she is forced to bear a pregnancy she did not want, and that this trumped the rights of the fetus, as it is dependent upon her.

    The only analogous example I can think of for the sake of (slightly) esoteric argument is that of Siamese twins, where one twin is utterly dependent on another because they are both complete (with regard to organs) except for one is using the liver that is mostly within the chest wall of the other (and therby dependent upon the other twin for life). Should the "whole" twin be morally justified to terminate the life of the other because the whole twin is being forced to carry the other "on" his or her body? I think we would say "no", but this gets more at the consciousness idea of personhood. Any thoughts?

  103. Maggie: You said: "This is often called the contraceptive mentality; a mentality that sees children as a burden instead of a blessing and the natural consequence of the biology of sex"

    I think we live in a society that does not see this connection whatsoever. I think about this ALOT. I am a biologist, and my last job was teaching Honors Biology at a very high power high school. I had to do the human reproduction bit, and I can tell you how shocked students are when I tell them that all those warm and hot and gooey feelings they are having, and all the urges that are so intense to get VERY close, if not INSIDE of another person are there because their GENES are telling them to GO MAKE A BABY. Most of the music, most of the fashion, most of the movies and television it is all working on that basic instinct and it is so powerful...SEX=babies. They really don't know this, or they do, but the way sex is portrayed today...they do not. None of us do. Jennifer Anniston (I hate to make her an object as it feels cruel to her) is sold on the screen like she is ripe for the plucking...and she is very close to the day if not there )(and terrible apologies for all who have struggled with infertility as I did), when she will not be able to have children. I worked with many women and know many others who seemed to FORGET to have a baby. When you totally separate sex and babies it seems this is what happens.
    One of my greatest regrets was not stopping several women close to me from having abortions years ago. Why did I not stop them? Because I did not want to confront them or make them uncomfortable. Also, I was uncreative and lazy, and could not be bothered to figure out how I could rearrange my life a bit to help them out. Several never had babies and are now devastated, several waited and then did ridiculous things in their forties to get pregnant. SO MANY COLLEGE EDUCATED women are now putting off childbearing until it absurd. Don't they realize that you will want to know your children for as long as is possible (with prudence (not advocating for having children at 16 as a goal).

    Yet, as pro-life as I have become, I also am a biologist with a strong ecology education...and I do think it is unlikely that we can keep our population in check without access to birth control methods (non-abortive) used in concert with all the rich awareness of fertility cycles that are taught in NFP classes. I do think that is is a loving act for some women to limit their childbearing for the sake of the planet. I think some women can and should have large families and raise them well, and others will feel called to smaller families or no families and other work to contribute. I struggle with these ideas, but cannot seem to reconcile to the Catholic idea that limiting family size (without abortion)is a MORTAL SIN. I know that I would love one more baby, but felt a bit guilty to even have my third, and that I personally should limit out of respect for others on the planet and for my children and the children of others who are yet to come.

    NOTE: This is not a dig on women who greatly desire large families and do a fabulous job raising them and loving them. I just don't think the Church should be calling it a terrible sin to want to avoid having many children.


  104. Mary, I was totally with you until you brought up the overpopulation stuff. :) First, the Church calls contraception a grave sin, not avoidance of having many children.

    Please take a look at a post post of mine, and tell me what you think (on that post, please):


    Also, I absolutely love what you told those high school kids!! You'd think that would be totally obvious, but for the reasons you stated, it's not!

  105. Clarity: Contraception is a grave sin, wanting to avoid a large family is not a grave sin. That is a big distinction, and it goes back to this:


  106. Mary, I love the biological aspects of that too! It's just amazing the way God has designed our bodies. It's also tragic the way Satan has attacked that understanding to twist sexuality into something not as beautiful as God designed it to be (remember, we're in a war here, people. I know non-Christians might scoff at that, but we are in a war against someone who hates people and hates God's plan. It's not "those people" from "the gay/abortion/contraceptive/etc agenda" or "the liberal ideology" that we're fighting... it's Satan. And the war isn't one that's new; it's been raging since before the beginning of time.)

    Anyway, I would recommend two things:
    1) Vicki Thorn, founders of Project Rachel (post abortion healing ministry) has a great talk called "The Biology of the Theology of the Body." She discusses at great length pheromones, hormonal changes, and so forth that really support the biological beauty of God's plan for marriage.

    2) I'll echo Leila here: overpopulation is a myth long debunked by actual demographers. I would highly suggest checking out the DVDs Demographic Winter and Demographic Bomb for more on why and how. They are entirely secular, and argue solely from economic, demographic, and human rights standpoints, not even faintly religious. Demographic Bomb goes into greater detail about the reasons by overpopulation took hold of the public psyche and made us all paranoid; especially its chief champions in the 60s and 70s and what their true goals were. They interview Erlich and other experts at great length. On the special features of each DVD is a section where all the charts they use can be examined in greater detail and provides a list of all the scholarly journals, data sets, and so forth that are mentioned in the films.

  107. Maggie, thanks for providing those great resources!


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